Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ok, so let's try this again. My first post got me into some trouble on the homefront... Apparently my criticism of New England and its hardy inhabitants was not well-received. Seriously, though, I didn't mean it in a cruel way. I just really don't understand why anyone chooses to stay here.
Which brings me to my point today. Last night, I didn't watch the Carolina/Duke game. I am an '04 grad of Carolina, and I bleed Carolina blue. I buy into the whole bit (If God's not a Tarheel, then why is the sky Carolina blue?), I hate Duke with every fiber of my being. I believe, like the rest of the enlightened world, that Coach K truly is the Devil. Or the Anti-Christ. Either way, his evil heart is as black as his shiny, perfectly combed over hair.
So, why didn't I watch the Carolina/Duke game? It wasn't because we don't have cable (we don't), because my fiance watched it after the UConn game at his parents'. I could have done so, as well. I simply could not bring myself to watch the game with anyone who is not a Carolina fan. I don't mean a person who likes Carolina, or who doesn't have a preference. The Carolina/Duke game is one that can only be watched with others who feel just like me. If I'm watching it with someone, I need to know they anguish at every missed shot like I do. They need to writhe in antagonizing anxiety during each Duke possession, and then bite their nails off during each ensuing Carolina one. I don't want to hear any acknowledgment of a "good" play by a Dookie (if there is such a thing), or a nice shot. I only want to hear the cries of other Tarheels in the worst kind of bloodlust - the kind that leaves you craving the sweetest sight known to man: Coach K passing out on the court, a serious injury incurred by a Duke player, J.J. Reddick crying after a loss at his last ever home-game and Senior night, or Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green enjoying their 4th straight win at Cameron Indoor.
If I was a real fan, would I have watched the game last night anyways? Not at my fiance's parents' house - under a roof that shelters Duke fans. Not only are there Duke fans there, there are the worst kind - the kind that adopted Duke as their team for no good reason. No ties to the school, no ties to Durham, except maybe that a sizable proportion of the student body at the University of New Jersey at Durham is from New England. And they share the Polish thing with Coach K, so I'll give them that.
My love for Tarheel basketball and my disdain for everything Bluedevil manifests itself in such a way that yes, I would rather miss an historic game than watch it with the infidels. I have no choice. The rivalry brings out another side to me - one that I'm not sure the in-laws are quite ready for. And there's nothing worse than screaming at the television while someone is giving you the "It's JUST a game" look. Not to this Heel. A victory over Duke is a signal that somewhere amid the chaos, something is still right with the world. A loss... well, I won't even bother. It's not necessary. Because, as of last night, the universe makes sense. To the tune of 101-87, Carolina.